DRIVING COSTA DA MORTE
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Where I stayed
Pension Santa Clara
JOURNEY: Muros, Fisterra, Camarinas to A Coruna -277 kms
WEATHER: As usual perfect! Mid 20's! Sunny
ACCOMMODATION; Pension Santa Clara
We drove away from Santiago de Compostela in our VW Golf around 11.30 am and with Tom-Tom, our GPS set with a few destinations we headed west to the coast.
Our first brief stop was at the town of Muros, which is at the beginning of the Costa da Morte, the beautiful Coast of Death, so called because of the many shipwrecks that lie along the treacherous rocky Atlantic there.
There are high cliffs, sandy beaches, rocky peninsulas and enchanting fishing villages.
Muros was cute and we talked to a lady who told us you could not leave the area without eating fresh seafood, especially mussels- it was too early for lunch so we decided to stop for lunch later.
The vegetation along the way reminded us of Australia and we frequently came across large plantations of eucalyptus, the seascapes from the road were beautiful and we stopped at a camping spot by the ocean which was pretty much deserted but really appealing. Most of the camping places we have seen roadside have looked barren and ugly!
Little clutters of Spanish towns catch our eye as we twist and turn and we decide that this coast is varied and spectacular. Lonely Planet had alerted us to look out for the "horreos"; typical only to this region, they are store house for grains like corn, wheat etc and most old homes seem to have one. They look a little like altars when they are decorated.
We also noted the interesting and changing architecture and some colour becoming evident. A lot of residences are built from stone which is plentiful around the coast and these places would stand up for comparison with a modern house. Stunning!
Happily on arrival in Fisterra, we found the Pirate, a restaurant run by a Spanish guy and his German girlfriend- they were great fun and the seafood cooked on the grill in front of us was delicious. Honestly the mussels were the freshest we had ever had!
Fisterra is a cute port and on this sunny afternoon the boats made a pretty picture. In the summer the town is invaded by tourists but today it was quiet and relaxing.
Cabo Fisterra is the western tip of Spain and there is a lighthouse at the edge of the cape and a strange mix of legend and myth about death, probably because so many sailors perished here. We also came across a couple of ash charred rocks where walkers burn their smelly socks after walking the 80kms pilgrims trail to here!!
We spent a while here walking to the end of the cape and enjoying the ocean; apparently the place is usually so windy people don't dally but today is calm and tranquil.
Our next stop was the tiny village of Camarinas but we soon drove onto the must-see Cabo Vilan where the incredibly high cliffs give you a 360 degree vista and the grey granite is a sharp contrast to the green grass and blue ocean. This was a special place and quite a few cars drove into the carpark at cape's end.
The day was coming to an end and we decided to miss Laxe and drive straight to A Coruna our overnight stop.
We arrived at Pension Santa Clara around 8pm but could not find the entrance until Kath negotiated her way through the busy cafe and found reception at the rear but no one could speak English. Sheila had double parked in the tiny street and while waiting for Kath to return, someone had pulled out and she got a street park which saved us $24 parking fee for the 2 days!!
Parking in Spanish cities is for the quick and brave and Sheila has been getting quicker and braver! Cars are manouevered into impossible spaces, on corners and often double parked!
Monica the manager bent over backwards to make us welcome and our room though basic was clean and neat; Real Madrid was playing on the big screen in the bar so we unpacked and headed there to join the crowd and enjoyed a generous serve of tapas and a cold beer.
We had enjoyed the scenic journey and were happy with our accommodation so all is well for a good night's sleep.